Deep Passion.Great Teaching. IGNITED

Decomposing Fractions: An Alternative for Struggling Learners


I, like many elementary teachers across the nation have found myself teaching math concepts to 4th and 5th grade students that were once taught to middle school students. Truth be told, when I first began teaching these skills I must admit I was very skeptical about teaching multiplying fractions and whole numbers to 4th and 5th graders. As I grew more comfortable with the idea that I have to teach … Read More →

Simplifying Fractions is Just NOT that Simple!


Before school let our for the Christmas break I was at my wits end with trying to teach equivalent fractions and simplifying fractions to students who were deficient in their understanding of the “true” meaning of multiplication and division. I know that there are so many different skills that students need to have mastered before they can simplify fractions. I had to face the fact that the students who were … Read More →

What Does Being Smart in Math Really Mean?


This Summer I began reading Smarter Together! Collaboration and Equity in the Elementary Math Classroom, but to be honest when I bought the book I really was more interested in the collaboration part of the book than the equity part. As with most things the part of the book that I was interested in was not the part that I needed. I have been teaching math for a very long … Read More →

The Truth About Equivalent Fractions and Multiplication


I often tell my co-workers that the students that I have this year are getting my best teaching! This school year has challenged my math content knowledge and pedagogy (instructional strategies) because my students have major deficits. On top of that I have many ELL students who are still trying to learn English. Even with all of the obstacles that I face teaching these students, I find myself delving deeper … Read More →

Part 2: Comprehension Strategies in the Math Classroom


Last week I began to teach my 5th grade math students how to ask on the surface questions. I anticipated that this would be a daunting task because creating questions literally means that you have to think about the information and create a question that makes sense using Who?, What?, When? and Where?. As a math teacher I tend to ask all the questions which automatically makes the students take … Read More →

Reading Comprehension Strategies in the Math Classroom

comprehension group work

I’m sure you have heard the phrase “Reading is thinking.” In fact this statement is the absolute truth! This school year about one third of my students are ELLs or English Language Learners. Having so many ELLs requires that I focus on reading comprehension as well as math concepts. I can’t say that I am pro at finding a balance between the 2 because this is something that I haven’t … Read More →

Problem Solving: Predicting with Evidence

predicting with evidence explanation

As a math teacher I am used to telling students “Show your work!” I thought if the students shows their work I could see where they went wrong. What I realized this year  is that by the time the students began to solve the problem showing their work didn’t matter because the calculations were a product of their thinking. If the thinking is incorrect then the product of their thinking will … Read More →

Teaching the Distributive Property Through Multiplication

mutiplication-number talks

The math curriculum for elementary has changed tremendously. Many of the math concepts that were taught in middle school have now found a home in 3rd -5th grade. Elementary teachers have found themselves scrambling for new teaching strategies to address this shift. One of the most complicated concepts that elementary teachers have to now teach is the distributive property. Many middle school students struggle to really understand the concept of … Read More →

Literacy: The Math Teacher’s Thorn


Everybody who knows me will tell you that my specialty is mathematics. Well with the implementation of the new math standards sometimes I don’t feel like the math teacher I feel like I have turned into the reading teacher. Like me I am certain that many math teachers are feeling the pressure to include literacy strategies in their math lessons.  I’m sure most curriculum leaders would say that this is … Read More →

How To Not Suck at Teaching Math


Math teachers are a special group of people. They quantify, analyze, and look for patterns in everything that they do. The only other group of teachers that really understand math teachers are science teachers because these teachers get excited about things that nobody else understands. In my 15 years  of teaching I have had to the pleasure of working with, supporting and coaching many many math teachers and the one … Read More →